7 years ago, my best friend died of drowning. For 3 months, I questioned about life and how can I live a conscious, fulfilled life. It was the hardest thing I had to go through, and I vowed that no one should go through the death of a loved ones.
For a young person to lose their life due to a car accident or disease, its the failure of the medicine or the system, or pure carelessness or stupidity, but for a young person to die of suicide, its a failure of humanity.
Two years ago, I sat down with a typical Aussie bloke – a popular, high-achieving young men who were both good in academia and sports – who shared with me his silent struggle with mental illness since he was in high school. He did not get a diagnosis for at least 4 years because he never would have thought that a man can get a mental illness. It wasn’t until he was hospitalised while in University and given the diagnosis by the doctor did he realised that regardless of what you have in your life, when something isn’t right with your body, something just isn’t right.
Ever since that meeting, it has haunt me that suicide remains the leading cause of death amongst young people and 4 out of 5 of those are young men. There is still a lack of programs or mental health brand that young men feels comfortable engaging with – and there is also a lack of involvement of young men in the mental health conversation.
After months of research, a group of us got together and put together a Theory of Change, and designed our first campaign called, “Soften the Fck Up”. The whole idea is to shift the stereotype of real men, and after much conversations, we got our strategy onto paper and 25 other young people came on board to help us make this idea happen!
I am forever grateful to people like @mimobase and the wonderful people from Studio Breeder who came on to help us make this idea a reality – every single one of them recognise that something needs to be done.
We’re about 60% until we’re ready to launch, but we need your help to launch this campaign.
We need to raise a seed capital to make this campaign that far forward and we can’t do this without your help. So far, we have 6 supporters and $350 is already pledged, lots of work still need to be done and every help we receive will be very helpful!
It is not enough to talk about it, we need investment and we need real behavioural and cultural changes, and we need every bit of your help and support.
This campaign made the news on news.com.au, and a father from Sydney shared this and brought tears to me:
“What timing for this article to me. Our son is showing all the signs of depression at the moment. There is history in both sides of his parents too. A friend sent him an sms telling him to “harden the **** up” no doubt thinking he was doing the right matesy thing… It is a very worrying time for us.” – dad from Sydney
If you are able to help us, whether by investing in our project, spreading the word, talking about us at any events, please do and get in touch with me and we can discuss more details.
This is not about charity, this is about humanity. We need to reach the tipping point for us to roll this out.
If you need help, call Lifeline at 13 11 14 – its free, confidential and will not show up on your landline bill.